Ridley, Larry [Laurence Howard, II] (Indianapolis, 3 Sept 1937)


Double bass player


He learned to play violin as a child, then, after hearing Ray Brown, took up double bass. He often played in Indianapolis with Freddie Hubbard, who was a childhood friend, but his first job, at the age of 16, was with Wes Montgomery. He entered Indiana University to study violin, but soon changed to double bass. After receiving instruction from Percy Heath at the Lenox (Massachusetts) School of Jazz (1959) he played briefly in New York with Hubbard, then toured with Slide Hampton (1960). He performed throughout the 1960s with such hard-bop musicians as Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, and Horace Silver, and in 1969 recorded in Europe with veteran swing musicians as a member of George Wein's Newport All-Stars. The following year he toured Japan with Thelonious Monk, and remained a member of his group for three years. In 1971 Ridley obtained a degree in music education from New York University, and subsequently became head of the jazz program and chairman of the music department at Livingston College (Rutgers), Piscataway, New Jersey. He played in Jones's group Dameronia (1981-5) and has served on the executive committee of the National Jazz Service Organization (from 1984). Ridley's driving hard-bop style may be heard to advantage on Anthropology, which he recorded with James Moody (1973).


  Barry Kernfeld


The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988